At present, two rakes of Train 18, one on Delhi-Varanasi route and the other on Delhi-Katra route are being operated on Indian Railways network.
Indian Railways bets on Vande Bharat Express Train 18! The production programmes for financial years 2019-2020, 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 include the manufacture of as many as 160, 240 and 240 ‘Make in India’ Train 18 coaches respectively for train sets at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai. This was recently informed by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a query in Lok Sabha. At present, two rakes of Train 18, one on Delhi-Varanasi route and the other on Delhi-Katra route are being operated on the Indian Railways network.
Train 18, manufactured under Modi government’s ‘Make in India’ policy, is a fully air-conditioned, semi-high speed train having quicker acceleration along with various contemporary passenger-friendly amenities such as on-board infotainment, automatic sliding doors with retractable coach footsteps, GPS-based passenger information system, CCTV cameras, zero-discharge vacuum-based bio-toilets, etc.
The safety oscillation trials of Train 18 train sets have been certified by Railway Ministry’s Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO). Following this, Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) has cleared the train sets for commercial operation based on the certification and own inspection. Train 18 is a next-generation train set by Indian Railways that is aimed at replacing Shatabdi Express premium trains on the network. The modern train set also offers additional facilities as well as operational advantages to the passengers. The self-propelled train set has already generated export interest.
Meanwhile, it was also recently informed by the Railway Minister that the average occupancy of both the Vande Bharat Express trains are a hit among passengers. According to Goyal, train number 22435/36 Delhi-Varanasi Vande Bharat Express saw an occupancy of 115.71 per cent. On the other hand, train number 22439/40 Delhi-Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Vande Bharat Express saw an occupancy of 99.27 per cent. The occupancy registered by both these Train 18s is inclusive of bookings done for en-route/intermediate stations, he said.